This Father’s Day, we will be thinking of all the dads out there who serve as role models for their children – sometimes in ways they didn’t expect. In this blog, we take a look at Ahmed who is a patient receiving rehab therapy at Providence Healthcare, while caring for his family and showing them what strength is all about. Please consider making a donation to Providence Healthcare Foundation to show your appreciation for fathers.
Ahmed didn’t see it coming. On December 3, 2017, the 54-year-old healthy, active father-of-five had a stroke. For 12 days, he was in and out of consciousness, not aware of where he was or how he came to be there. On December 15, he was considered out of danger and was moved to Providence Healthcare.
“I was lying in the bed and I thought: I am going to die here,” he recalls. “I was paralyzed; I couldn’t speak. I didn’t think there was any hope for me.”
Then his nurse, Catherine Paul, stepped into his room. She read his chart and calmly told him he was going to get up and walk and go home to live independently again. She was so sure, Ahmed decided to believe her. And then she took him to the gym for his first physiotherapy session.
After that, every day Catherine would remind him that there was an entire team of people who were working to help him walk. It wasn’t “if”; it was “when” and it was going to be a lot sooner than Ahmed could imagine, as long as he committed to his therapy plan. Ahmed says his whole outlook on life changed – because of her conviction that he would recover.
Every member of his care team was equally positive. Ahmed was astonished at how they worked as a team, handing him off seamlessly from one to another “like a baton in an Olympic relay race.” They always seemed to know where he was strong, where he needed to do more work. “Their teamwork is tremendous and how they communicate is marvelous. Each person is always up to date with your progress and they never miss a beat,” he says.
Ahmed was discharged from Providence six weeks after he was admitted. He’s back at home with his kids, and is thrilled to be there. He manages with a cane at home and comes back regularly to continue his therapy, using a wheelchair in the hospital for quicker mobility. His speech is perfect. He credits Providence, its positive approach and teamwork. As he says: “The place is full of hope.”
Jane Goldberg was a physiotherapist on Ahmed’s team. She explains that at Providence, the staff use an approach with patients called “hope coaching” that begins by looking at the patient from a “strengths perspective”. They identify the strengths that are already there, and take the time to hear from patients how they perceive themselves and what matters to them. Long-term goals are broken down into small, reachable goals, building confidence and finding strength the patients often don’t know they have.
The benefits of hope coaching have clearly been felt by Ahmed, but Jane says the staff feel the benefits, too. “It stops us from being overwhelmed, along with the patient. I feel calmer, more positive about myself and my job.”
If Ahmed’s story has touched you, please consider donating to Providence. You can make a significant difference to the patients, residents and families who come to us for hope and healing. To donate, visit our donation page or call 416-285-3630.
Providence Healthcare is a leader in providing rehabilitation, long-term care, palliative care and community programs in Toronto.